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UMTRI: average sales-weighted fuel economy of purchased new vehicles in US dropped 0.2 mpg in May from April

The average sales-weighted fuel economy (adjusted EPA window sticker value) of new vehicles purchased in the US dropped 0.2 mpg in May from the level in April to 23.7 mpg US (9.9 L/100km), likely reflecting the slight reduction the price of gasoline, according to the monthly report from researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI).

This level still marks an increase of 3.6 mpg US (18%) from the value in October 2007 (the first month of UMTRI monitoring).

UMTRI average sales-weighted fuel economy. Click to enlarge.

The average sales-weighted fuel economy is calculated from the monthly sales of individual models of light-duty vehicles (cars, SUVs, vans, and pickup trucks) and the combined city/highway fuel-economy ratings published in the EPA Fuel Economy Guide (i.e., window sticker ratings) for the respective models. For both monthly and model year averages, sales-weighted means were calculated.

The sales-weighted CAFE (unadjusted mpg) for May 2012 was 29.1 mpg US (8.1 L/100km).

UMTRI also reported that its Eco-Driving index for March 2012 was 0.83—a 17% improvement over October 2007. The University of Michigan Eco-Driving Index (EDI) is a national index that estimates the average monthly amount of greenhouse gasses produced by an individual US driver who has purchased a new vehicle that month. The amount of greenhouse gasses emitted when using internal-combustion engines depends on the amount of fuel used. The EDI estimates the amount of fuel used (and thus the amount of greenhouse gasses emitted) by taking into account two primary variables: the fuel economy of the vehicle and the distance driven.



Can anybody explain the yo-yo up and down results since 2007?


Great news. At that rate, we may get to 36 mpg by 2100+ and to 46 mpg by 2200?


It's actually approximately a straight line increase over time at about 0.063 MPG per month increase. At that rate we would be at 29.7 by around 2020. Obviously there is no expectation that the current trend should continue. It has no connection to a theoretical construct, it is simply historical data. It may be driven by the price of gas, or technology, but there is nothing specifically connecting it to either of those. Certainly, new technology and new policy will affect the trend, as will the future price of gasoline.

Remember, humans are typically not great thinkers despite what the priests and politicians tell you. Most people simply respond to stimuli much the same as a bug responds to a magnifying glass. An intelligent person would see the trend in gas prices (even if they didn't understand the causes) and respond by adapting their behavior so as to not deepen their position of enslavement. However, that is not what the majority do. They scream and yell and blame someone else. They attach themselves to ideologies that are false and really only intended to manipulate all for the benefit of the few. Besides, even in those cases when these ideologies may have aspects that might have merit the purveyors of these ideologies act disingenuously regarding their implementation.

The new saying for the US voter should be "you can fool most of the people all of the time".

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